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William A. Cramer

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William A. Cramer

Posted: 30 May 2002 6:41AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Cramer, Paterson, Blaugher, Hanna, Cross, Brenaman
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 389-390

William A. Cramer, one of the progressive farmers of Jefferson township, Huntington county, Indiana, was born in York county, Pennsylvania, July 5, 1854. The Cramers are a fighting family, the great-grandfather being a soldier in the Revolution and three uncles taking part in the late Rebellion. They were Adam L., who lost his right arm in the engagement before Atlanta, and who was also in the fight at Bull Run; Jesse, who served throughout the war; and Eph, who lost his life in Virginia. The immediate ancestor of our subject was Joseph L. Cramer, also a native of York county, Pennsylvania, and was crippled in 1861, being unable to perform manual labor. He was one of nine children, six sons and three daughters. He learned the trade of a shoemaker, and in the fall of 1856 came to Huntington county, Indiana, settling on a farm near the village of Pleasant Plain, and there plied his craft. It was not long before he gained an enviable reputation for his skill and the thoroughness of his work, and the entire neighborhood came to him when they wanted shoes made. He would take the leather and fashion a boot or shoe from the very first step to its completion, ready for the wearer. He loved children, and it did not take the little folks long to find out that he was their friend. His shop was their headquarters and he never failed to show his appreciation of them and a deep interest in all the little affairs which make up the world of childhood, and he was a prime favorite among all the children. His own family consisted of two daughters and an only son. Alice was the eldest and was born in York county, Pennsylvania, on November 12, 1852. She received a common school education and was twice married, first to a Mr. Paterson, then to a Mr. Blaugher. She resides north of her brother William; and Anna, born March 19, 1857, is the wife of Wallace Hanna, of Jefferson township.

William Cramer was the second child and only son, and remained on the farm with his father until the death of the latter, in fact has always been a resident of this farm. He had been taught in his childhood to save his money and not spend it foolishly, and he still has two hundred cents which he had thus saved up to his tenth year. When he began to do for himself his supply of clothing was very meager, and his early training kept him from indulging in extravagant purchases or unwise investments. He secured employment by the month, receiving from twenty to twenty-six dollars for his work, and by the time he was twenty-three years of age he had saved one thousand dollars. About this time, in 1877, he led to the altar Miss Catherine Cross, invested his thousand dollars in land, settled down to farming and stock raising, and has now two hundred and forty-four acres, all under cultivation. Mrs. Cramer is a lady of much kindness of heart and many excellent characteristics. Her parents were of German descent and came to Huntington county, Indiana, at an early day, moving from Fairfield county, Ohio. Mr. Cramer continued to buy land, going in debt for it, but always paying his notes before they fell due and keeping his credit at the highest point. He was also largely interested in stock raising, his especial hobby being hogs. He is much interested in sheep and raises the famous Shropshire breed. He has also raised some cattle, but his interest centers principally in hogs as it is from them he received the greater part of his income. Fully two-thirds of the money and land saved by him represents the price he has received from the sale of hogs. He clears from four hundred to five hundred dollars per year on them. He has cleared over fifty acres of land and is considered one of the finest and most capable farmers in Jefferson township. He has leased one hundred and ten acres of his land to the Fearless Oil Company, at an annual rental of one hundred and twenty dollars, has three wells in operation, and his royalty from these is ten dollars a month. The company is anxious to lease the balance of his land. The children of Mr. Cramer are three in number, viz.: Clinton, who was born June 6, 1881; Joseph L., born August 23, 1882; and Alverdie, born April 3, 1884.

Mr. Cramer is not member of any religious organization, but leans toward the German Reformed church and is upright and honorable in all walks of life. He has been an enthusiastic Republican up to the late presidential election (1900), when he gave his vote to the Democratic nominee. He is fond of hunting and fishing and usually makes two or three trips each year to Webster lake and other places, where the fishing is superb, bringing back a nice string of the finny tribe as a trophy of his success. He is also a good shot and considered a very successful nimrod.

His mother, Maria (Brenaman) Cramer, was born in York county, Pennsylvania, where she was reared to womanhood and also married. Her people coming direct from Germany and locating in York county, Pennsylvania, where her father died, the mother passing away in Indiana.

Mrs. Cramer, since the death of her husband, sold out her interests and has since loaned her money, realizing several hundred dollars therefrom. She still remains a widow, refusing many proposals of marriage since her husband's demise.

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